(LOS ANGELES) — A hospital in California is experiencing a baby boom of multiples in its neonatal intensive care unit.
Cedars-Sinai Guerin Children’s hospital in Los Angeles is currently caring for one set of quadruplets in its NICU, as well as eight sets of twins.
The quadruplets were born on July 4, a hospital spokeswoman told ABC News’ Good Morning America.
Prior to that, the NICU had been caring for 10 sets of twins, but two sets were recently discharged, according to Bevin Merideth, R.N., the NICU’s associate director of nursing.
“We’re used to having multiples in the NICU. It’s not uncommon for multiples to not be able to carry to term,” Merideth told GMA. “It’s not something that’s uncommon in the NICU, but it was like four twins, five twins, six twins, and once we got to 10, we realized this is a record.”
“It’s almost half our unit,” Merideth added, noting the hospital’s NICU has 45 beds total.
Caring for a record number of twins in the NICU is especially poignant for Merideth, who was a teenager when her twin sisters were born at Cedars-Sinai Guerin Children’s and cared for in the same NICU where she now works.
“They were my first preemie babies, I call them,” said Merideth, who noted seeing her twin sisters cared for so well helped inspire her career choice. “I immediately was like, ‘I want to be a NICU nurse,’ and have never left the NICU. I started in the NICU and have been here 25 years.”
Merideth said some of the twins currently in the NICU have been there for as long as six or seven weeks, while others entered more recently. She noted there is no explanation for the multiples baby boom, saying, “It just happened.”
Merideth said she’s watched as the newborns’ parents have bonded over being the new parents of multiples as they pass the time in the NICU.
“Just walking, you see them talking to each other,” Merideth said. “Just having something in common, they’ve bonded over it.”
Samantha Pearlman’s twin daughters have been in the NICU for six weeks, a time during which she said she’s connected with many of the other parents of twins.
“I love that there are multiple twins in the NICU with us. I found out just by being in the same bay with them or getting to know some of the parents and exchanging numbers,” Pearlman said in a video shared by Cedars-Sinai Guerin Children’s. “We’ve been keeping in touch, which is really wonderful.”
“I was surprised there were two, let alone 10 sets of twins, but it’s been great to connect with other parents and see their journey,” added Jordan Edelstein, whose twin daughter and son are also being treated at the hospital. “It’s comforting to see so many other families experiencing the same thing.”
Merideth said she and her fellow nurses are already looking forward to keeping in touch with the record-breaking sets of twins as they get older.
“It’s always nice to see how they’re growing and thriving at home,” she said. “That’s why we do what we do, to see them being toddlers and kids and graduating. It’s very hopeful.”
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